Lisa Gilbert

Geosciences & Williams-Mystic

Williams College

Lisa Gilbert is an Associate Professor of Geosciences and Marine Science at Williams-Mystic.  She teaches at Williams-Mystic, the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport, an interdisciplinary off-campus program of Williams College based in Mystic, CT.

Workshop Leader and Participant, Website Contributor

Website Content Contributions

Course Modules (14)

Systems Thinking part of Systems Thinking
The Systems Thinking Module provides a foundation for systems thinking throughout the InTeGrate materials. Units 1 and 2 of this module are designed to be used early within a course and then reinforced later; Units ...

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Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
Making the difficult decision to evacuate before a hurricane makes landfall can save lives and property. This two week module explores how hurricanes connect the ocean-atmosphere-terrestrial systems and society. ...

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Unit 3: Modeling a System part of Systems Thinking
This unit introduces systems modeling, which allows students to quantify and manipulate system components to create system responses. Students use a simple systems model of a bathtub to explore the effect of flow ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 4: Feedbacks in a System part of Systems Thinking
Feedbacks are a critical part of many systems. In this unit, students use a systems model to explore the effect of positive (reinforcing) and negative (balancing) feedbacks on system behavior. Model results are ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 1: Introduction to Systems Thinking – What is a System? part of Systems Thinking
This unit introduces systems and systems thinking. The unit is easily adaptable to any course and includes an introduction of terminology, motivation for using systems thinking, and practice reading, as well as ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 2: Picturing Complexity part of Systems Thinking
This unit includes an opportunity for students to move from definitions into reading and creating a diagram of a complex system relevant to their course, and then to exploring the connections between the components ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 5: Analyzing Complexity part of Systems Thinking
This unit has students build on a system diagram, to include new knowledge about quantitative values and relationships. They will also write about and discuss what they know about their systems, the questions that ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 6: Systems Thinking Synthesis part of Systems Thinking
This in-class exercise is an alternative to standard review sessions and models the systems thinking students need to do when working on complex, interdisciplinary issues. Students quiz each other on course ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 3: Hurricane Tracks and Energy part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
The purpose of this unit is to learn some of the scientific tools used to determine hurricane location, path, and strength. Students plot the path of a recent hurricane (Irene, 2011), work with an online viewer to ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 4: Hurricane Impacts part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
This unit has three options for 40-minute activities that address hurricane impacts. Alternatively, if time allows, all three could be used in sequence. Activity 4.1 includes a presentation on the terrestrial ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 2: Hurricane Formation part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
Hurricanes form as the atmosphere and ocean interact to transport a tremendous amount of energy. Students will read about the conditions necessary for hurricane formation, how a hurricane evolves at sea, how it ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 6: Predictions and Evacuation part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
Students watch a video and read about past evacuations, including a premature or unnecessary evacuation, a late or botched evacuation, and about people determined to stay put no matter what. Students participate in ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 1: Hazard and Risk part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
Identifying the differences between hazards and risks is key to understanding how we react, mitigate, and live with natural disasters. This unit will begin with a discussion on identifying the differences between ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 5: Hurricane Risks and Coastal Development part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
This unit addresses changes in hurricane risks due to coastal development. Students will calculate the risks from hurricanes and how the hazards have changed (or not) from 1901 to 2010. Students will determine how ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Activities (12)

Unit 3: Modeling a System part of Systems Thinking
This unit introduces systems modeling, which allows students to quantify and manipulate system components to create system responses. Students use a simple systems model of a bathtub to explore the effect of flow ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 4: Feedbacks in a System part of Systems Thinking
Feedbacks are a critical part of many systems. In this unit, students use a systems model to explore the effect of positive (reinforcing) and negative (balancing) feedbacks on system behavior. Model results are ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 1: Introduction to Systems Thinking – What is a System? part of Systems Thinking
This unit introduces systems and systems thinking. The unit is easily adaptable to any course and includes an introduction of terminology, motivation for using systems thinking, and practice reading, as well as ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 2: Picturing Complexity part of Systems Thinking
This unit includes an opportunity for students to move from definitions into reading and creating a diagram of a complex system relevant to their course, and then to exploring the connections between the components ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 5: Analyzing Complexity part of Systems Thinking
This unit has students build on a system diagram, to include new knowledge about quantitative values and relationships. They will also write about and discuss what they know about their systems, the questions that ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 6: Systems Thinking Synthesis part of Systems Thinking
This in-class exercise is an alternative to standard review sessions and models the systems thinking students need to do when working on complex, interdisciplinary issues. Students quiz each other on course ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 3: Hurricane Tracks and Energy part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
The purpose of this unit is to learn some of the scientific tools used to determine hurricane location, path, and strength. Students plot the path of a recent hurricane (Irene, 2011), work with an online viewer to ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 4: Hurricane Impacts part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
This unit has three options for 40-minute activities that address hurricane impacts. Alternatively, if time allows, all three could be used in sequence. Activity 4.1 includes a presentation on the terrestrial ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 2: Hurricane Formation part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
Hurricanes form as the atmosphere and ocean interact to transport a tremendous amount of energy. Students will read about the conditions necessary for hurricane formation, how a hurricane evolves at sea, how it ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 6: Predictions and Evacuation part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
Students watch a video and read about past evacuations, including a premature or unnecessary evacuation, a late or botched evacuation, and about people determined to stay put no matter what. Students participate in ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 1: Hazard and Risk part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
Identifying the differences between hazards and risks is key to understanding how we react, mitigate, and live with natural disasters. This unit will begin with a discussion on identifying the differences between ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Unit 5: Hurricane Risks and Coastal Development part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
This unit addresses changes in hurricane risks due to coastal development. Students will calculate the risks from hurricanes and how the hazards have changed (or not) from 1901 to 2010. Students will determine how ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Essay (1)

Lisa Gilbert part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Affective Domain:Workshop 07:Workshop Participants
Department of Geosciences & Marine Sciences, Williams College Homepage Essay: "I'm good at science, now" A recent student thanked me for showing her that she was "good at science, after ...

Conference Presentation (1)

Earth Systems Thinking: An InTeGrate Module That Can Be Used In Any Course part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
One of the themes of the InTeGrate program's pedagogical approach is to foster systems thinking. The concept of systems thinking is addressed in individual InTeGrate modules designed to address specific ...

Other Contributions (5)

Tuesday Session A part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Teaching Demonstrations:Tuesday A
Tuesday Session A Your Account Earth Educators' RendezvousMadison, WI July 18-22, 2016 ...

Preparing for an Academic Career part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Morning Workshops:Career Prep
This workshop is designed specifically for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and others who are interested in pursuing academic careers in the geosciences. Workshop leaders will provide guidance and ...

Lisa Gilbert: Using Systems Thinking in Oceanographic Processes at Williams-Mystic part of Systems Thinking
Systems Thinking at Williams-Mystic A desire for interdisciplinary problem-solving skills is one of the reasons students apply to study for one semester at The Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport (Williams-Mystic) from all over the country. While students learn approaches from science, policy, history, and literature at Williams-Mystic, teaching the Systems Thinking Module was an explicit effort at teaching students systems language, diagrams, and modeling. The ability to solve complex problems using systems thinking develops over time. Half of the group completed the entire module and was very engaged in and excited by complex problems. Half of the group completed only one unit, and while they showed improved confidence with systems diagrams, the ones not previously exposed to systems thinking did not generalize beyond the examples given.

What is a system? part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Teaching Demonstrations:Tuesday A
This activity introduces systems and systems thinking. The activity could be used in almost any course and includes an introduction of terminology, motivation for using systems thinking, practice reading, as well ...

Does it Take Two to Tango? Interdisciplinary Teaching Solo and in Teams part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Afternoon Mini Workshops
Real-world problems related to Earth science are typically interdisciplinary, yet interdisciplinary teaching creates the unique challenge of accurately and fully capturing the complexities of multiple disciplines, ...